Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

What Your Eyes Say About Your Health

YourEyes

By Jordan & Kyla Miller

I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, ‘your eyes are the window to your soul’. Well, in fact, not only are they the window to our soul, but they are also important indicators of our overall health.

Eyes have many signs that tell us what is happening in our bodies. Unfortunately, given the ‘polluted’ world we live in today, many of our bodies are loaded with toxins. As a result of this toxic load, there are many physical characteristics that present themselves over time. Sickness presents itself in many interesting ways, and for the eyes, there are several indicators as to what is going wrong or right with the body. Everything is connected in the body.

When something is not operating well, there are physical signs (sometimes invisible) that help us determine what is plaguing us. The problem today is that many of us have lost this ancient knowledge. Many of us turn to a medical professional for the answers because we don’t know any better, and they have been deemed the experts by society. The fact is that you have the power to be your own expert, as nobody knows your body better than yourself. To get you started, we have provided you with some tell-tale physical signs the eyes manifest when your body is sick.

Dark Circles Under Eyes

Some believe that dark circles under the eyes is an indication that one is not getting adequate sleep, by staying up watching too much T.V. or simply just appear if we misbehave (excessive partying) or are under a great deal of stress. In some other groups, dark circles are believed to be caused as a direct result of too much potassium in the diet; this may be true, but we haven’t seen much evidence on this. Simply speaking, dark circles under your eyes is directly related to oxidizing hemoglobin. In other words, they manifest as a result of “leaky capillaries” and are visible due to the thin skin that covers the area under your eyes. Essentially, what this boils down to is that there is an issue with your liver; it is not working optimally. This may be due in part to genetics, allergies, or iron deficiency – all usually caused by what we are or are not ingesting.

“Bags” Under Eyes

“Bags” or puffy eyes are usually present as a result of accumulated fat around the eye area. This happens when the septum surrounding the eyeball weakens, causing the outer layer of fat within the socket to sink forward – making it look like you have literal “bags” under your eyes. The underlying cause behind this phenomena is an issue with your kidneys. Essentially, if your kidneys are not effectively cleaning toxins out of your body, physical signs will begin to manifest themselves, especially in and around the eyes. Some other studies suggest that puffiness is also an indicator of too much salt in the diet.

Sunken Eyes

This is a common symptom in our society today. It is by no accident that many of us are suffering from it. Sunken eyes is usually the cause of a dehydrated body. Many are ingesting several coffees, pop/soda, or pre-packaged fruit juices daily, without even knowing that each of these ‘beverages’ have a diuretic effect and are severely dehydrating. Couple this with drinking little water, you have a body that is starved of water, and thus it is unable to function properly. By increasing your intake of water and decreasing the amount of diuretic beverages you drink in a day, it is almost guaranteed that you will see positive results immediately.

Yellow Eyes

This manifests itself when the white of your eye (sclera) turns yellow. This is usually a sign of jaundice, where there is a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow-colored pigment that is produced by the breakdown of old red blood cells. Bilirubin is normally processed by the liver and released into the intestine in bile before being excreted from the body through the feces. As you have probably guessed it, the common cause of yellow eye is directly related to a liver problem. A daily dose of fresh squeezed beet or lemon juice should help resolve the discoloration in a few weeks.

Bulging Eyes

Also known as proptosis or exophthalmos, bulging of the eyes manifests itself due to a condition with the thyroid gland. Both eyes generally protrude in people whom have Graves disease (an autoimmune disease indicating an overactive thyroid). In Graves disease, swelling, fibrosis and scarring may occur within the eye muscles surrounding the eye. This crowds the bony orbit where the eye sits, causing the eyes to bulge forward. In some rare cases however, it may mean that there is a benign tumor that exists behind the eye.

Double Vision

Double vision generally occurs when the eyes are misaligned. There may be several reasons why someone may be experiencing this condition; for example, they may have a cornea problem (due to infection or scars), lens problem (cataracts), muscle problem (graves disease or myasthenia gravis), nerve problem (multiple sclerosis or uncontrolled diabetes) or brain problem (strokes or migraine headaches).

Blood Vessels

Your eyes are one of the few areas of the body that have exposed blood vessels. For this reason, these blood vessels can tell us a lot about the individuals health. In some cases, inflamed blood vessels in your eye can be the direct result of an irritant, allergy, or in some cases a viral infection. In other cases however, it has been shown that a continued state of inflamed blood vessels can be directly related to more serious issues such as hypertension or diabetes.

As you can see, the eyes provide us with many indicators about our health. When you are suffering from a health related issue, take a look in the mirror, and determine whether or not you can pinpoint the problem by gazing into your eyes. These are but a few examples of what we can look for when trying to figure out some of the issues we are experiencing with our eyes.

Sources:

1. webmd.com
2. lookupinfo.org

About the Authors

Jordan and Kyla are passionate about health; together, they have overcome many illnesses through dietary and lifestyle changes, and the art of practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Reiki Master, and Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist. For more information, please visit the following sites; guidinginstincts.comFacebookTwitterGoogle+, or Pinterest

Music Therapy for Children

Research Has Proven That Music Is Therapy For Children

Therapeutic music helps children fall asleep sooner and with greater peace of mind. Research has been applied on pregnant mothers, infants, toddlers, and even adults. Incorporating this type of music in preschools, daycare centers, doctors, and dentists offices has a positive result on the tempo of the environment. It sets the tone for a relaxed atmosphere and has the capabilities to lay a child or an adult to sleep. Songs that are recognized by children makes them have an added enjoyment for music.

Adding nature sounds to music makes the heart rate respond to a slower beat which in turn relaxes the body and mind. Children need this type of tempo to be calmed and relaxed. Listening to this music you will hear many different nature sounds. They include ocean waves, birds, ducks, horses, cows, heart beats, sea gulls, streams and many more. This is not only for a child’s enjoyment, but an adult will feel the same peace.
Reducing The Stress Of Childhood

We think of ourselves as stressed because of all the things we are asked to do or control. Imagine the stress of living in a world of complete dependency. The touch of a loving hand helps to ease this stress.

Over time a gentle touch assures the child that they will be cared for when needs arise. Therapeutic music is another gift to the senses that reassures the child that everything will be alright. Visual objects around the room or about the crib can only serve the child while the eyes are open. Therapeutic music continues to soothe and reassures the eyes close and peaceful rest sets in.

Intangible Gifts Are Everlasting

Music is an intangible gift that lives in a child’s mind, safe from the erosionary and destructive forces of time and environment. The songs we play or perform for our children are gifts that are carried inside. These gifts are with them through difficult times and times of celebration. Soothing repetitive music can build confidence that the love associated with the songs that last in their minds will also last forever.

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7 Home Remedies for Cellulite Reduction

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby Mike Barrett

Although everyone should learn to love and appreciate their bodies, there is a reason the word ‘cellulite’ makes some people cringe. While it is partly genetic, the cottage cheese cellulite appearance could be the result of hormonal issues, diet, other lifestyle choices, and less talked about – toxins. Even some people with relatively no fat on them have cellulite lurking on their thighs or hips. While you could spend hundreds on the latest chemical-topical solution that may or may not do any good, you could also improve the condition of your skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite naturally, with food. And while reducing cellulite may not be super easy to achieve (especially in today’s ‘perfect body’ society), home remedies for cellulite reduction do exist.

An estimated 85% of adult women have cellulite, and despite it’s prevalence, we still have much to learn about the cosmetic issue. Cellulite is fat stored just under the skin’s surface. It has a unique appearance, like the dimpled surface of an orange peel or cottage cheese. It is most common in women and usually appears after puberty. For many people, it’s a source of extreme embarrassment.

Try some of these natural solutions to at least minimize the appearance.

 

1. Home Remedies for Cellulite Reduction – Remove Toxins

Your body is bombarded with toxins. Toxins accumulation comes from decades of exposure to packaged foods, refined sugars, chemicals, pesticides, pollutants inside and outside your home, pharmaceuticals – the list goes on. Needless to say, most people are in desperate need of a body-cleanse or toxin removal. But what does this have to do with cellulite?

The body stores toxins in fat to help minimize how much toxicity your vital organs are exposed to. The dimples and pockets of cellulite are also full of toxins. Toxicity accumulated in your body over the years will show in your cellulite (and a myriad of other unpleasant symptoms).

So what should you do for cellulite reduction? Simple: remove the toxins and prevent further build up of toxins. Here are 4 methods for how to cleanse your body. Search “detox” in the NaturalSociety search bar for many more simple tips.

2. Tomatoes and Tomato Paste

Tomatoes are extremely high in lycopene, which can prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin. Dr. Oz reports that tomato paste is particularly rich in lycopene. But, if you opt for paste, look for one in a glass container or make your own to avoid the toxic BPA.

3. Coconut Oil and Dry Brushing

A very popular combination among home remedies for cellulite, dry skin brushing while moisturizing with (and ingesting) extra virgin coconut oil is a widely used solution. To dry skin brush correctly, start higher lymph node areas like the armpits/groin, then move to the outer regions. Always move towards the heart. except when dry skin brushing the buttocks area. Dry skin brushing is so effective because it tightens the epidermis and helps to breakup the toxic material cellulite is composed of.

One individual on EarthClinic shares her positive experience using coconut oil and dry skin brushing:

“Organic coconut oil and dry brushing which is very popular in Europe for circulation and for eliminating cellulite…My massuese mentioned to me you always brush in the direction of the lymphatic system so that it can circulate it out of the system quickly also increase you water intake before beginning the dry brush massage this help the system elminate toxin. For problem areas I used to spend at least ten minutes total and followed by a hot shower and I step out of the hot shower and while my pores are still open I put coconut oil all over my body and have noticed a dramatic decrease very close to eliminating all the cellulite. So it does work.”

 

4. Drink More Water for Cellulite Reduction

Hydration is crucial for overall health—from digestion to your skin’s healthy glow and texture. Being fully hydrated can smooth your skin’s surface. Try consuming foods with higher water content like melons, cucumbers, watermelon and leafy greens. Not only are these foods high in water content, but they are also low in calories – helping you to lose weight and control fat stores.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water and a bit of honey and rub on the areas needed, then rinse with warm water. It may not get rid of cellulite for good, but it should help reduce the appearance. Additionally, try making a body wrap: mix ACV and water in equal parts, and then rub it on the area. Afterward, wrap the areas in plastic wrap and a warm towel for 1 hour, then rinse. Other than being used for cellulite reduction, the benefits of apple cider vinegar are overwhelming – don’t skip this potential solution!

6. Ginkgo Biloba

This plant has been used medicinally for centuries. One of green tea’s many health benefits is in encouraging good circulation. Good circulation means healthier skin and a more uniform skin texture. Improving circulation will allow for a more effective transfer of stored fat from cellulite to muscle tissue, enabling it to be burned and used as energy.

7. Green Tea

Green tea can speed your metabolism and help you burn fat by stopping the production of fat-absorbing enzymes. But, catechins found in green and white teas can also reduce insulin resistance. Drinking three cups a day could increase energy expenditure and help you to burn an extra 80 calories in the next 24 hours. Try tea in the morning in place of coffee.

Cellulite can make anyone feel self-conscious and burn through their wallets, but know that you don’t have to. The above solutions cost very little money and are accompanied by a countless other health benefits. Don’t give another dollar for expensive and questionable creams before trying some of the solutions.

And of course with any health problem, always consume plenty of healthful foods, avoid/reduce stress, and exercise regularly. This will also help with cellulite reduction while improving your overall health. Check back later for more home remedies for cellulite.

About the Author

Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

**COMING SOON** Genetically Modified Bananas

bananafish

By Dave Mihalovic

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) had previously signed an agreement with India’s department of biotechnology to invest in a four-year project to develop GMO iron-rich bananas. Now, a researcher at the QUT has led ascientific effort to create GMO bananas with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The world’s first human trial of pro-vitamin A-enriched banana is underway in the United States.

The QUT project, led by Professor James Dale and backed with close to $10 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is claimed to be one of the most prominent biofortification projects in the world today.

“Human trial is a significant milestone for this project which started in 2005 and should see pro-vitamin A-enriched banana varieties being grown by Ugandan farmers around 2020,” Professor James Dale said.

Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.

The researchers inserted the new genes at their laboratory in Brisbane, grew the trees at a field station on the northeastern coast of Australia, then harvested the fruit, froze them and flew them to Iowa. Because they are genetically modified, the bananas required special permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enter the country.

If the experience of similar “biofortified” crops is any guide, this banana faces a path strewn with obstacles and uncertainty.

More than a decade ago, for instance, researchers created a kind of “golden rice” with high levels of beta carotene — and immediately found themselves in the middle of controversy. In the Philippines, anti-biotech activists destroyed a test plot of the genetically engineered grain. When researchers carried out a feeding trial of golden rice in China, using children as subjects, it turned into a national scandal. The researchers were denounced for not disclosing, in all cases, the fact that the new rice was genetically engineered. No government has approved widespread cultivation of golden rice.

The trial in Iowa is not likely to stir up similar controversy. Yet Wendy White, the researcher at Iowa State University who is carrying it out, is reluctant to discuss it. In an e-mail to NPR, she wrote that disclosing details about the study “could preclude me from publishing our findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.”

Even if, as expected, the Iowa experiment confirms that beta carotene in the bananas does boost vitamin A levels in the volunteers’ blood samples, this doesn’t mean that the “super banana” really is a solution to the problem of vitamin A deficiency in Uganda.

Many regulatory and practical obstacles remain. For the banana to have any impact at all, governments would have to approve it, farmers would have to grow it, and ordinary people would have to be persuaded to eat orange-tinted bananas.

Several studies also point out to the need for further, detailed investigations. It is ironical that the scientists promoting GMOs do not want to look at specific research and deliberately try to avoid discussions on scientific footing. They should understand that they will drive a nation into a deep and irreversible crisis related to food and farming if they continue this blinkered approach.

It is a much broader and deeper issue which the industry and GM proponents want to circumscribe in the name of science. In that context there is enough evidence against this technology.

 

About the author:

Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment. Original article can be found on PreventDisease.com

Slim for Life: What to Eat in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s

slim4LIFE

By Nicole Yorio Jurick

For many of us, getting older and wider go hand in hand: Most adults pack on an average of 3.4 pounds every four years. “But weight gain isn’t inevitable if you arm yourself with age-specific strategies to prevent it,” says Elisa Zied, RD, the author of Younger Next Week. (Famous bodies of evidence: Christie Brinkley, Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry.) To help you stay trim, we zeroed in on the fat traps specific to each decade, then tapped the experts for the best ways to avoid them.

 

Your 20s 

Fat trap: Drinking
Blame it on the alcohol. Happy hour, boozy brunches and girls’ nights galore add up to lots of empty calories and late-night pizza.

Fat zap: ”Most of us wouldn’t drink several sodas in a row, but we’ll order multiple cocktails — even though a mojito is more caloric than a cola,” says Alice Domar, PhD, a coauthor of Live a Little! A shot of liquor has about 100 calories, a five-ounce glass of wine contains 120 and a 12-ounce beer has around 150.

Keep liquid calories low by alternating each drink with a glass of water or seltzer. Since many restaurants dole out double portions of wine, pour yourself five ounces at home (that’s about two-thirds of a cup) so you’ll know if you’ve been served extra, suggests Heather Mangieri, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And to prevent your willpower from drowning in pinot noir, “decide what you’re going to eat before you sip,” she says.

Fat trap: Eating out
Restaurant portions are huge (the average meal packs 1,495 calories), and you’re more likely to polish them off. People who dine in a group consume 18 percent more calories than they do when they’re alone, according to a study in Physiology & Behavior.

Fat zap: ”I’m going out to dinner, so I’ll have a light lunch.” Sound familiar? “Though it seems logical to save up your calories, people often end up consuming more in the end,” Domar says. Instead of showing up starving, eat a small serving of filling protein, such as a hard-boiled egg or a carton of Greek yogurt, to help tame your appetite before you head to the restaurant.

Once there, be the first at your table to order, because research shows that your dinner companions’ food selection can influence yours. An easy way to order right: “Pick an upgradedversion of something that you might make at home,” Mangieri suggests. So instead of a boring grilled-chicken salad, try the baby greens with roast chicken, walnuts and pears, for example. “This naturally helps you gravitate toward healthier options without making you feel as if you’re depriving yourself.”

Fat trap: Coupling up
No one is safe from love chub: Women who are dating gain an average of 15 pounds over five years, those who live with their guy gain 18, and newly married women gain 24, according to research from the University of North Carolina. “People in relationships subconsciously mirror each other’s food choices and eating pace,” explains Susan Albers, a psychologist and the author ofEating Mindfully. That’s dangerous, because men can generally get away with consuming more calories a day than women can.

Fat zap: If you keep picking grilled fish over burgers, chances are he’ll start doing the same. “When one person makes healthy choices, the other is likely to follow,” Albers says. Make healthy un-boring by buying exotic vegetables at the farmers’ market, experimenting with a lower-calorie version of chili or mac and cheese, or browsing cooking blogs for recipes you can make together. Then dish out your portion onto a smaller plate and intentionally slow your pace.

On date night, don’t default to dinner and a movie. Instead, try taking a new class at the gym, exploring a nearby city, or hiking in a local park together. Not only will you torch calories instead of taking them in, but you’ll also feel friskier; couples who share new activities report having better chemistry than those who stick to a routine.

 

Your 30s 

Fat trap: Baby weight
Princess Kate’s bump may have disappeared seemingly days after delivery, but nearly 60 percent of moms of 1- to 2-year-olds still haven’t lost the baby weight, according to a BabyCenter.com poll.

Fat zap: The sleep deprivation that comes with caring for a newborn increases levels of hunger hormones as well as cravings for fat and sugar, sonew moms tend to reach for junk food. The work-around is to stock up on healthy, convenient options, like rotisserie chicken with steam-in-the-bag vegetables and microwavable brown rice.

Be sure to fit fish into your diet twice a week. New moms who struggle with the blues are more likely to retain the baby weight after one year, a Harvard study showed, and DHA — a type of omega-3 found in salmon and tuna — has been linked to having fewer symptoms of postpartum depression.

Fat trap: Stress
Gen Xers are more stressed-out than Boomers, according to a study from the American Psychological Association. “Stress spikes levels of the hormone cortisol, which is a triple threat for weight gain,” says Scott Isaacs, MD, an endocrinologist and the author of Beat Overeating Now!“Cortisol not only increases your appetite, it also slows your metabolism and prompts your body to store fat.”

Fat zap: Resist working lunches, because scarfing food at your desk instead of taking a break makes you more frazzled, German researchers say. And because the caffeine in coffee can signal the adrenal gland to pump out cortisol, limit yourself to two grande coffees a day instead of fueling up on it every few hours, Dr. Isaacs recommends. Or switch to Earl Grey: Tea drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower cortisol levels than coffee drinkers did after stressful situations, a British study found.

Eat oranges, red peppers, and sweet potatoes, which are all high in cortisol-lowering vitamin C. And dehydration increases levels of this hormone, so drink plenty of water and buy lower-sodium canned soups and bread, because the regular versions tend to be salty.

Fat trap: Crazy-busy everything
You’re climbing the corporate ladder, caring for a family and still trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. It’s no wonder healthy eating keeps dropping off your mile-long to-do list.

Fat zap: Most days you’re so slammed that by the time you realize you need food, you’re ravenous, and baby carrots or grilled chicken just won’t cut it. “Eating healthy meals and snacks throughout the day can help you resist fattening temptations,” Domar says. The proof: Women who skipped meals lost almost eight pounds less than women who didn’t, according to a study in theJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

To make breakfast happen on hectic mornings, stash granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit in your car or office, Domar says. Then add a lunch reminder to your calendar. And instead of succumbing to greasy takeout dinners, prep a couple of meals over the weekend that you can eat throughout the week, like a big pot of soup or a huge stir-fry, Mangieri suggests.

 

Your 40s 

Fat trap: Kid-friendly food
Macaroni and cheese is practically a food group in your household, and pizza and cake at parties is a given.

Fat zap: ”A few bites of your child’s leftovers can add up to hundreds of extra calories over the course of a week,” Domar says. Make the kids responsible for putting their plates in the dishwasher to lessen the chances that you’ll go to town on whatever they didn’t eat.

If snacks are your downfall, stock up on ones that your kids love but you don’t, Mangieri says, like fruit snacks or frozen waffles. And when you’re at the umpteenth birthday party, eat only when you’re sitting at a table, not standing by the bouncy castle. “It makes you more mindful of what’s going into your mouth,” Albers says.

Fat trap: Perimenopause
Estrogen helps insulin metabolize blood sugar. So when your levels of the hormone naturally begin to drop as you head toward menopause, this estrogen deficiency increases your insulin resistance, “a condition that causes your body to store the food you eat as fat instead of burning it as energy,” Dr. Isaacs explains.

Fat zap: Cut refined carbohydrates from your diet. “White bread, white rice and sugar cause an insulin surge, which contributes to insulin resistance,” Dr. Isaacs says. “The majority of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables, fruits and whole grains, which your body digests more slowly.”

Hormonal changes can also throw your thyroid out of whack, resulting in weight gain, says Lyn-Genet Recitas, a nutritionist and the author of The Plan. And low levels of vitamin B12, which about 40 percent of people have, can make this worse. Get the recommended daily 2.4 micrograms of B12 by loading up on salmon, low-fat yogurt, and eggs.

Fat trap: A slower metabolism
You can begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of up to 5 percent a decade starting now, which means you’re burning 100 fewer calories a day, Mangieri says.

Fat zap: ”Strength-train twice a week to build new muscle and preserve what you have,” Zied says. Eating protein also helps. “Just spread out your intake, because our bodies most efficiently use 20 to 30 grams at a time for muscle building,” Mangieri says.

Turn the heat up in the kitchen and down on the thermostat. Eating spicy foods and living in cooler temperatures revs up your metabolism and helps you torch more fat, recentstudies found. “Spending a couple of hours in a 63-degree home is enough to burn an extra 50 to 100 calories a day,” Dr. Isaacs says.

 

Your 50s 

Fat trap: Menopause
As your level of estrogen continues to decline, your body converts more calories into fat, which contains the hormone. The results: less muscle mass and an even slower metabolism. Studies have also linked lower estrogen levels with increased abdominal fat, aka middle-aged spread.

Fat zap: Eat more fiber. For every 10 extra grams people took in each day, they reduced their amount of visceral fat, the dangerous belly kind that can lead to heart disease and diabetes, by 3.7 percent over a five-year period, according to researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Dairy, which is a good source of calcium, protein and vitamin D, can also help reduce belly fat, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition.

Fat trap: Pulling double duty
The pressure of paying for your children’s college tuition while caring for your aging parents can leave you feeling worried and worn-out.

Fat zap: Magnesium helps reduce stress by suppressing the release of cortisol, but most women don’t get the recommended 310 to 320 milligrams a day. Up your intake by eating spinach, almonds and black beans, all of which contain 50 milligrams or more per serving.

Also, choose foods rich in vitamin B6, which gives you extra energy by carrying oxygen to your cells during the day and helping you sleep better at night, Dr. Isaacs says. Get it from chicken, turkey, and bananas; a serving of each contains about a quarter of your recommended daily amount.

Fat trap: Depression
Your risk of depression can increase during menopause, and women who are depressed have a higher BMI and waist circumference than those who aren’t, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Fat zap: Sadness can trigger cravings for refined carbs, which cause the brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, says Vandana Sheth, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But it’s a temporary rush,” she explains. “Once your blood sugar crashes, it leads to an even lower low, setting you up for a constant cycle of cravings.” To boost your mood, space meals and snacks no more than five hours apart and make sure they contain a filling mix ofcomplex carbohydrates, like whole-grain crackers or fruit, plus lean protein.

Foods high in folate — beans and lentils are the best sources — may also help relieve depression, because the brain needs that vitamin to function. “And working up a sweat provides a rush of feel-good endorphins that can lift your spirits,” Sheth says.

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